There’s one question we get asked a lot. “Do I really need to use an eye cream?”. Usually closely followed by – in an almost whispered voice – “Is it not just moisturizer in a really tiny bottle?”.
The short answer for many of us is yes, an eye cream is a really helpful addition to your daily skincare regimen. And no – it is definitely different to your face or body creams, in that it is designed to target the specific concerns that only the delicate skin around our eyes has.
Read on to discover why an eye cream can help the skin under your eyes to look and feel its best, and more importantly, how to choose the best eye cream for your skin’s needs.
Benefits of using an undereye cream
The skin around the eyes is notoriously thin and easily irritated. So unless the rest of your skin is equally sensitive, your moisturizer will likely be too heavy and potentially too rich for the delicate eye area. There are three key benefits of using a separate eye cream:
- The eye area needs lighter products that won’t clog pores and drag the skin down. Eye creams and eye serums are formulated to be ultra lightweight and easily absorbed.
- What works on your face might not work for your eyes – that’s why good eye creams (like ours) won’t include irritants like fragrance or essential oils.
- Your moisturizer should target your skin’s needs – that could be anything from dehydration to blemishes. Your eyes will have different concerns to target – like fine lines, irritation, dark circles or puffiness. That’s where your dedicated eye cream comes in.
How to apply eye cream
- Incorporating a new step into your daily regimen will only stick if it’s easy and faff-free. Luckily, eye creams and eye serums are speedy and simple to apply. There are just a few – well, five – pointers to remember first:
- To avoid overloading the eye area, your mantra is less is more. Use just a small pea-sized amount for both eyes.
- How you apply it is as important as how much or how often you do it. Avoid tugging the fragile skin by using your (notoriously weak) ring finger to apply your eye cream. Remember, less is more!
- Apply eye cream to the orbital bone surrounding your eyes. Your skin will draw in the product it needs from there.
- We always recommend applying your products in order from lightest to heaviest. That means eye cream goes on first. Followed by your serum, moisturizer, face oil and/or SPF.
- You can use eye cream in the morning, evening or both, depending on the formula. You might find a light eye serum is best for the day (as it makes a better makeup base), and a more nourishing cream works better for the night - it’s up to you.
How to choose the best eye cream for your skin
Just like the rest of your skincare, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to finding the best eye cream for you. The important thing to remember is that you’re not just matching up to your skin type here, but looking for a product that targets the specific job you need it to do. That could be reducing fine lines, calming irritation or simply hydrating irritated eyes - or perhaps you need a brightening formula to help reduce dark circles and pigmentation.
As well as looking for the product that will give you the best results, you may also want to consider when you will use it; some eye creams contain SPF because they’re designed for the daytime, or you might want a gel or serum texture to sit neatly under makeup. Whatever your needs, choose a product that’s going to work for you and your skin - it’s a sensitive area that needs TLC.
Best eye cream for eye wrinkles and puffiness
Fine lines and wrinkles are going to happen. It’s part of the privilege of aging. What we can do is help reduce further lines triggered by inflammation, irritation or environmental factors.
To improve the appearance of fine lines, look for eye cream formulas rich in an ingredient called Echium (pronounced eck-ee-um, in case you were curious), also known as Viper’s Bugloss. A shrub with striking purple-blue flowers, it’s the oil in the Echium seeds which do the hard graft when it comes to mature skin. It is packed with Omegas 3 (Gamma Linolenic Acid) & 6 (Stearidonic Acid); these good fats help cells to regenerate, while antiinflammatory and plumping properties make it ideal for smoothing out the skin.
Our Echium eye cream – Feather Canyon – soothes irritation, hydrates without overloading the skin and plumps it too. We recommend you apply this eye cream every morning before your SPF, and throughout the day whenever the eye area feels dry or tight - but it’s a great nighttime treatment too.
Best eye cream for easily-irritated eyes
For skin that feels stressed, reactive and unpredictable, there is a genius active ingredient to look out for – Ceramides. It feeds the skin with Omegas 3, 6 and 9 to protect its barrier from dehydration and environmental stress. Helpfully, it tightens pores and refines skin tone too.
Our eye serum – System D – is formulated with our unique Ceramides Complex along with Schisandra Co2 extract, an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that’s great at soothing stressed-out skin. Use it in the morning or throughout the day to cool and calm sensitive eyes.
Best eye cream for dark circles
Though dark circles are considered a common sign of fatigue, tiredness isn’t the main cause (even if they do make you look bleary-eyed). While in some cases dark circles can be hereditary, often they can be down to a lack of blood circulation, hyperpigmentation or an overloading of the eye area’s thin skin. The darkness can also be caused by the fact that the skin is so thin, so veins and blood vessels show through and cause a dark circle effect. A loss of volume as we age can also create a sunken look, enhancing the dark appearance ever further.
The good news is that gently massaging in a thin layer of your eye cream – whichever one you choose – will help, as will using a facial massage tool like a Gua Sha or jade roller. The movement boosts circulation, while the right ingredients will help to plump fragile skin.
If the skin has been dragged down from too many heavyweight products and rich creams, a lightweight product specifically formulated for eyes is a must. Opt for serum or gel formulas which are easily absorbed, and ensure you wear SPF and your chicest pair of sunglasses in the daytime to protect your eyes from the sun’s damaging rays.
Everyday Essentials Kit
Best eye cream for dry skin
Dry skin – unlike dehydrated skin – lacks the protective oils that hold moisture in the skin. Essentially, it's missing its outerwear. Remember, the thin skin under the eyes doesn’t contain any sebaceous (oil) glands, making it even more prone to dehydration and dryness than the rest of your face - so no matter what your skin type, dry and sensitive eyes need targeted care.
To address this and to bring skin back to its healthy former glory, look for an eye cream formulated with lightweight but nourishing oils. Our eye cream, Feather Canyon, contains not only Echium but Argan Oil, which is rich in vitamin E, phenols, carotenes and fatty acids. These skincare superheroes help to rehydrate the skin and relieve dryness, and the anti-inflammatory properties will even help with dry patches and eczema. Dab it on to give dry skin the boot, and in turn it will give your skin its luminosity back.
Best eye cream for puffiness
Puffy eyes can be caused by all sorts of factors, from allergies and hayfever to poor circulation, irritation or tiredness. A lack of sleep causes fluid retention underneath the delicate skin around the eyes, making them appear puffy and swollen.
Of course, none of these issues will be magically fixed by a topical eye cream - once you work out the cause, you can make lifestyle changes that will help. But using a targeted eye product that won’t overload or irritate the fine skin around the eyes can help reduce puffiness, while gentle massage as you apply it can help get the blood pumping and boost lymphatic drainage to get the fluid moving. Try our cooling eye serum, which has its own built-in ceramic applicator; you can even chill it in the fridge for even more relief. Packed with our Ceramide Complex, it helps to de-puff and firm the skin without irritating sensitive eyes.
So now you’ve got the full lowdown on eye creams, eye serums and caring for that oh-so-delicate skin. If you’ve got any questions or need some more advice on your skin’s next steps, be sure to book a free skin consultation with our resident skin coaches for tailored advice - or if you know exactly what you’re after you can shop our organic skincare here.